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Last Updated: 15.07.02 22:56 | Created on: 14.07.02

Price: £250

Playback: DVD-Video, CD-R/RW, CD, MP3

Multi-region hack: Yes

RGB Scart: Yes

S-Video Output: Yes

Dolby/DTS Decoder: Yes

Twin Scart: Yes


LG DVD-4950

A cheap LG DVD player, but how cheap?  

When you get a new piece of equipment, it's often quite difficult not to notice the build quality, or the craftsmanship on Speakers. Well, when I first popped this ultra-sleek looking LG DVD player from the polystyrene packaging, the first thing I noted was how light the machine is, then the actual build quality. The build quality, quite simply, doesn't match up with the heaviness of the player, now don't get this the wrong way around, the build quality is excellent, but the heaviness is lighter than any machine I've picked up before. It weighs only 3kg, but the front panel is ultra tough and rouged.

To be exact, the front panel of this machine is seemless made, the front uses a sheet of perspex glass with a mirror to set off the lower portion of the front, the top part is silver plastic, what this does is made it stand out, especially with the mirror, as the button text shadows make them stand out more. There is a lot of "high tech" looking players, but this one just shouts "style". There is a minimalistic feel with the few function buttons on the front and power switch opposing the open/close button either side of the disc tray.

Around the back of the unit lie a few surprises, first is a fully loaded Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 Decoder, with a separate Stereo output too. A set of twin scarts let you combine the player and another source like a VCR to one scart socket on your TV. Also there is a S-Video socket, and the Scart socket is RGB compatible. There is a small switch to switch between PAL and NTSC playback although this should be built into the menu. The digital outputs are consistent too, with a single optical and coaxial output too.

To use this player, I have it connected to a Kenwood KRF-V5050 receiver, and a Sony KV-32FX20U 32" TV. It is worth noting I bought Cambridge Audio gold plated scart leads for the video feed, and a same branded Coaxial lead too. I used some mix of DVD CD and MP3.

When I bought this DVD player I bought the Kenwood amp too, installing them was difficult, but I managed it, after this period it was time to set up the system.

The builtin menus and sub menus of the DVD-4950 are quite simple, the icons and colourful menus are nicely made, of course in a decent resolution (upto the DVD 720 lines), this makes it so much easier than other menus. The machine can be used by default settings, but you should select the digital output selection, to output both DTS and Dolby Digital. The first disc I tried was Toy Story 2.

While the first instance of colour looked superbly soft and smooth, there is a thought that this may not be as sharp as it could be. This was solved by tweaking the TV picture options so brightness was low and contrast high. It also makes a difference putting the TV on RGB rather than regular scart. After the first dynamic introduction the mellow colours which feature in most of the sequences looked quietly lush, the odd waterfall effects of small textures was only slightly noticeable. However it is the geometry and quality of tone which was most impressive. This mixed with an explosively charged sound track, made it from the LG player too.

The sound either from the digital outputs or decoder are both impressive, the finer points in the film call forward a lot of control, but the dynamic portions like when some onscreen bomb goes of shudder the theathre. Well that would be right, only if you get a decent subwoofer. Most of the DVDs sounded quite good, if anything they sounded great, there seemed to be lacking some subtleness in the rear speakers. CD playback isn't that great, it doesn't offend £100 CD players at all, although the MP3 decoder works well.

Still this is a well made, and by some way great performer for a £250 deck, and as soon as I get my first import DVD, I'll tell you how the multi-region system goes. For now this gets 8/10.


LG DVD-4950

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